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Arturia’s V Collection 3.0 has been released with updated plug-ins in addition to classic products from their virtual vintage library of instruments. The French developer used their TAE or True Analog Emulation engine to power all of these plug-ins.
The third edition of the V Collection comes with a total of 10 products in a single package. The nine unique instruments that are included hear are Mini V, Modular V, CS-80 V, the ARP2600 V, Prophet V, Jupiter 8 V, the Oberheim SEM V, Wurlitzer V, and the Spark Vintage drum machine. Most of these instruments were included in the previous version of the V-Collection with the Oberheim SEM V, the Wurlitzer V and the Spark Vintage being a new additions.
The package also comes with the Analog Laboratory. The Analog Laboratory is one instrument with all the sounds and parameters of the individual included instruments. It has many of the same presets and contains the ability to open up each individual instrument for fine tune adjustment.
All the instruments come with standalone versions as well as VST, AU and RTAS version for use in any PC or Mac DAW. On the PC side, Windows XP, Vista and 7 are supported and on the Mac side, OS X 10.5 and higher all work. 2Ghz CPU is the minimun spec but to run more than a few of these instruments at a time, much more memory and clock speed is recommended. Most modern computers will be able to run these instruments just fine.
All the instruments have a toolbar at the top where the preset selection is located. Access to hidden instrument panels, the bypass for the effects and instrument options are all located on that toolbar. Some of the sounds have a button on the toolbar called the sound map which opens up another menu. The list view here make it possible to use the arrow keys to quickly scroll through instruments and for much easier sorting.
The ARP2600 V is based on the synth of the same name. This is a very busy synth that has wires for special routing and controls, similar to that found now-a-days in Reason. This instrument comes complete with pads, leads, sequence patterns and basses. Some of the sounds of this synth reminds me of sounds I heard in ’80s action films like the Terminator. The Arp2600 opens up to reveal more controls. There is a top section, bottom section and a sequencer section with fine tuning controls of the pitch.
This instrument has a much simpler look and size than that of the ARP2600. It is controlled by sliders and buttons similar to the original Yamaha keyboard of the same name. The CS-80 V comes with a tremolo and chorus effects and has several hidden parts. One of the parts holds modern cc controls while the other hides a sequencer.
Right off the bat, the default patch on this instrument is an excellent set of pads that sound really warm. This keyboard uses the usual assortment of knobs, switches and buttons. The strength of this instrument is definitely it’s sounds over any fancy looking visual features. Even without any type of effects like delay available to enhance the sound, it is, hands down, one of the better sounding.
The Mini V was originally the MiniMoog V re-creation. The Mini V is a very simple looking synth with just some knobs and switches that are designed to imitate the original. This instrument comes with a hidden panel plus delay and chorus effects.
This instrument was originally called the Moog Modular V and is modeled after the Moog Modular. This instrument has a lot of knobs and cable connections. The amount of parameters on this instrument is enough where the entire instrument will not display on most computer screen resolutions. With delay, chorus and a huge amount of knobs, the Modular V is great for those wanting nearly infinite tweaking capabilities. This instrument is missing the site map so navigating through presets is more of a chore here.
Oberheim SEM V
This instrument has more of a modern look to it. The Oberheim SEM V has the ability to map different VCF settings to different parts of the keyboard with a graph. It has a very simple layout while the visuals and extremely large collection of presets makes this synth a useful and fun instrument.
This is the simplist instrument in the collection and it’s the only one that, personally, I did not like. Playing the instrument does not yield a warm and full sound, but rather a lifeless and dull sound. It does have a delay and chorus to help enhance the sound but I am not fond of this instrument.
This instrument is a re-creation of a collection of classic drum machines including the TR808 and the LM9. The instruments here sound very much like the originals, including all their realistic and non-realistic qualities. While testing Spark Vintage, I could easily see how this instrument could become the building point for many compositions. It also comes complete with a step sequencer for that vintage style programing. The individual hits can also be triggered by a midi keyboard or a midi pad controller for more modern style music programing. The step sequencer can follow the DAW or run on its own clock.
This is a re-creation of the Wurlitzer electric piano. This instrument comes with a full amp simulator and a collection of effects used over the years. It does a good job with the sound of the pianos but misses a bit of the warmth that comes from the real thing. Even though this instrument isn’t a perfect re-creation, the patches and sound quality are more than usable in most modern music productions.
The Analog Laboratory is the blending of all the individual instruments into one. On one level, it uses a grid to narrow the selection of sounds similar to that found in programs like Garageband. It also allows keyboard splits with multiple instruments that just are not possible with the real thing. While using the Analog Laboratory, editing patches will bring up the instrument’s full set of parameters for fine tuning. This makes this instrument the most powerful as it is all the other instruments in one without sacrificing the control parameters.
The Vintage Collection 3.0 is the sum of it’s parts and there are a lot of great parts here. With the hundreds of variables that shape the sounds of analog equipment, it is very difficult to re-create them with 100% accuracy. These instruments found in the V Collection may not be exact matches to their original counterparts but they contain enough of their element to make them great in most music, whether modern or classic. Bringing together in this single package is a great deal for those who want instruments with a modern control but a vintage sound.